Shindand Air Base Herat Province, Afghanistan

Base Address/base location: Shindand, Afghanistan

Branch: Air Force

Shindand Air Base is a military facility located in Herat Province, seven miles northeast of Sabzwar City in the southwestern section of Afghanistan. This facility is close to the Iran border around 75 miles, which makes this air base a strategic military location. The surroundings of this facility were mined during the Taliban Offensive in the mid-1990s and the residential area of the nearby Herat City was severely damaged, alongside the roadway to Iran.

Shindand Air Base was first occupied and operated by British troops, but it is nowadays a co-base serving to both NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and United States of America Army. The base is considered a battle zone and in a remote location; therefore dependents are not authorized to stay at this base, considered the most dangerous place in Afghanistan. Shindand Air Base is operated by the Afghan Ministry of Defense and the Afghan Air Force (AFF) main command is also located at Shindand Air Base, which is mainly a training area for the Afghan troops.

Shindand Air Base has a 9,140 feet concrete runaway and an all-weather asphalt road that connects this facility with the Kandahar–Herat Highway, which is part of the National Ring Road (Highway 1) and the sole route to get there by road.

Cost of Living: The cost of living in Herat Province and the whole country have increased substantially since 2008, while unemployment is aggravated; bringing social and financial issues to the population that sees migration a solution to cope with these issues.

Automated Telephone Attendant Number: Contact the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Defense at http://mod.gov.af/ to obtain the automated telephone attendant number of Shindand Air Base. This official website has an English version available.

Base Population: The American population of this Air base consists of the United States Air Force 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, with the mission to support the NATO missions and to provide military training to the Afghan troops.

City/Area Population: The province of Herat has a total population of 1,780,000 people, while the city of Herat, capital of this province and the closest place to Shindand Air Base, had 436,300 inhabitants as of 2013.

Child Development Centers: Being a battle zone, Shindand Air Base has no Child Development Centers, but there might be education services in the nearby cities.

Youth Programs: All formation and recreational programs, if any, are provided by the U.S. Army when available. There are no Afghan-based programs at this facility.

Family Readiness Center: Since family members of military staff are not allowed at Shindand Air Base, there is no Family Readiness Center nor family-oriented services.

Employment: Employment opportunities for military and civilian personnel based in the United States may be obtained through the federal employment bulletin board service.

Base Services: Shindand Air Base has permanent Red Cross services, besides of a barber, beauty parlor, and communication services.

History: Incidentally, Shindand Air Base was established by the Soviet military in 1961, serving heavily to the Soviet army during the war in Afghanistan that ended in 1989 with the fall of the Soviet Union. Then after, the airfield was controlled by the Afghan government until 1997, when Taliban forces captured it. In 2002, coalition forces entered Afghanistan, damaging the facility severely going after Osama Bin Laden and Al Quida.

Finally, Shindand Air Base was recaptured in 2004 by the U.S. 3rd Brigade, Central Corps, and the Afghan National Army. The runway was refurbished in 2010 and further expansion of the base took place in 2011, but some of the scheduled jobs to triplicate the size of the airfield were canceled or postponed in 2012. One year later, in 2013, the Georgia Army National Guard, First Battalion, 214th Field Artillery Regiment, was deployed to this facility as Task Force Granite to be responsible for the Shindand Air Base security.

Shindand Air Base is nowadays home to the 3rd Wing of the Afghan Air Force and it is known that the CIA uses the base for surveillance missions over Iran and Afghanistan, while the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is authorized for training, medical flights and humanitarian flights departing and arriving to Shindand Air Base.

Units: There are no military units permanently stationed here, but contract employees and personnel staff supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Housing: There are living quarters at Shindand Air Base, but assignment is determined by the main command.

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